Gujarat leaders join BJP a day after quitting Congress | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Gujarat leaders join BJP a day after quitting Congress

Mar 05, 2024 04:28 PM IST

Former Gujarat Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia and ex-working president Ambarish Der joined BJP in the presence of state BJP chief CR Paatil on Tuesday.

A day after two Congress leaders in Gujarat, including the party's former state unit chief Arjun Modhwadia, quit the party, they joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday in the presence of state BJP chief CR Paatil. The two leaders joined the BJP at its state headquarters ‘Kamalam’ in Gandhinagar, along with several others.

Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil was seen welcoming Arjun Modhwadia and Congress's former working president Ambarish Der, with BJP scarfs and caps on Tuesday.(ANI)
Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil was seen welcoming Arjun Modhwadia and Congress's former working president Ambarish Der, with BJP scarfs and caps on Tuesday.(ANI)

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Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil welcomed Arjun Modhwadia and former Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee working president Ambarish Der, with BJP scarfs and caps amid “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Jai Shree Ram” chants by party workers present in the hall.

The two leaders resigned on Monday, citing dissatisfaction with the Congress party's decision to boycott the Lord Ram temple consecration ceremony held in Ayodhya in January. This came just three days before the scheduled entry of Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Gujarat.

Prior to Der and Modhwadia's departure from the Congress, Rajya Sabha member and former Union minister Naran Rathwa, along with his son and numerous supporters, joined the ruling BJP.

Modhwadia, who held the Porbandar seat, submitted his resignation as an MLA to Gujarat assembly Speaker Shankar Chaudhary in Gandhinagar on Monday evening. The speaker's office confirmed the acceptance of the resignation.

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More about Modhwadia and Der

Modhwadia, 67, has been one of Gujarat's most senior and influential opposition leaders, maintaining a nearly 40-year association with the grand old party. He held significant positions during his tenure, including Leader of the Opposition and state unit president. He secured victory over BJP heavyweight Babu Bokhiria in the 2022 assembly elections.

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Following Modhwadia's resignation, the Congress' effective representation in the 182-member assembly has dwindled to 14. Modhwadia becomes the third Congress MLA to step down in the past four months, following Chirag Patel and CJ Chavda, who resigned in December and January, respectively.

Der, 46, served as a Congress MLA representing the Rajula assembly seat in Amreli district from 2017 to 2022. In the 2017 elections, he secured victory over BJP heavyweight Hira Solanki, the younger brother of state minister Parshottam Solanki. Before the 2022 Gujarat assembly polls, Der was appointed as the PCC working president.

(With inputs from agencies)

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